MEATBALLS, MARCHIGIANA STYLE
This dish is excellent served with rice or potatoes, following a, soup. If we serve a pasta course first, we will not make a starch to attend the meatballs.
Italian Family Dining by Edward & Eugenia Giobbi
For the meatballs
• 1/2 pound lean ground pork
• 1/2 pound ground beef
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 teaspoons salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
For the sauce
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
• 1 medium leek, white only, rinsed and chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, sliced
• 1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1 cup chicken stock
• 6 dried apricots, cut into 1/4-inch strips
• 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
• 2 teaspoons dried mint
For the meatballs:
Heat the oven to 450°F.
In a bowl, mix the pork, beef, walnuts, breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, pepper to taste, parsley, and egg. Form 20 balls, each about the size of a golf ball. Place the meatballs on a baking tray and add the oil. Roll the balls around until they are covered in oil. Bake, uncovered, until they are golden, about 10 minutes. Discard the fat and oil and set the meatballs aside.
For the sauce:
Heat the oil in a shallow saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onion, leek, and garlic. Cook until the onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, then add the meatballs and wine. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the wine is absorbed and no longer smells winey, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and apricots. Turn the heat back up to medium and bring to a boil. Add the peas and mint. Add salt to taste, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.